Every specialized sport has its own arsenal of equipment designed to increase the functionality and performance of its players. Anything from shoes to pads, helmets, skates, and many other options. Beyond skill and practice, basketball players require one thing: good basketball sneakers. We have gathered  a list of some options to compare and critique so you can figure out exactly what sneakers you need.

Comparison Table Of The Basketball Sneakers

Basketball Sneakers FAQ

Jordan Fly Lockdown

As we introduce the sneakers that caught our attention, we will address some general questions we had, including where we bought them and what makes each one unique.

1. What Should I Know Before Buying Basketball Sneakers?

There are many things to consider when purchasing basketball sneakers. One thing to consider is prior foot or leg injuries that have prompted a different walking pattern (this would also include things such as weak ankles) as this can determine what specific type of support is needed.

We also thought about what position we would most often be playing in, as the footwork requirements vary slightly. While this is not crucial and often changes, it made us think about the needed abilities of a basic basketball sneaker (pivoting, hard stops, bounce, ankle support, etc.). Beyond that, we went in knowing what type of athletic shoe we liked already (wide or narrow, cushioned or natural, etc.), which helped us narrow down the options quickly.

It is also important to know what type of warranty is offered. Our recommendation is to look for something that lets you try it out for a while and still lets you return it. It took us some time to find the perfect fit and being able to play in our sneakers really guided us to what we needed.

2. What Should a Basketball Sneaker Provide?

We cannot stress ankle support enough. Ankles are one of the most targeted areas for a basketball player, whether they are playing professionally or casually. Along with ankles, proper arch support is crucial not only for comfort, but also to prevent injury. Along with stretching, the right arch support can prevent many of the more common injuries.

We found a lot of basketball sneakers that did not provide good enough traction for indoor court play. For some of us, this was not a big deal, since the concrete court was where we played, and that does not require the most high-tech tread. However, we suggest that even if you only think you will be playing indoors occasionally, pick up a pair of sneakers for indoor use and never use them outside – this will completely destroy the grip.

3. What Should I Budget for?

A good pair of basketball sneakers can run anywhere from $ to $. We went in looking for a pair that would last for indoor use. If you are playing outside, the quality of the shoe matters a little less, as the concrete or asphalt will blow through them pretty fast.

As a side note in this area, always plan on purchasing the warranty as well. Good shoes will come with warranties, and we found that it is always worth it when spending over $ for sneakers.

4. Where are Some Good Places to Look for Basketball Sneakers?

We started our search on big brand sites, and they usually had some type of “which is the best for you?” survey that helped us narrow down our search. While there may be other sites that offer discounts on products, we found that it is always better to buy from the provider since they are the ones offering warranties, and if the shoe did not fit, literally and figuratively, it makes returns and exchanges simple. It may take a while to find the perfect fit, so keep that in mind when purchasing.

5. Some Additional Things to Know

Always check the reviews. Not only did this help you better understand what you are purchasing, it also gives you real feedback on performance. Though it is important to remember that not everyone buys sneakers for the same reason. What works horribly for one person may be exactly what another wanted.

Always remember that it is extremely helpful to be able to go to a store and try sneakers on. Just keep in mind that, unless you have some experience, it is usually better to shop in-store.

How We Reviewed

We reviewed a list of products based on five criteria: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. Based on what we researched with different models and reviews, we felt that these criteria gave a solid overview of each product and hit the important aspects that helped us make a good buy. We separated Warranty from Features to be able to expand on the importance of knowing the warranty and being comfortable using it.

Overall Price Range For Basketball Sneakers

Hand holding foot

The price range for basketball sneakers varies. From what we saw, a good pair of shoes will cost around $. The models within this bracket are good shoes with slight specialization. They still offer good support and warranties and are built well.

The higher models  typically offer much more support and a better warranty. The higher end models are more likely to be specialized as well, which means better comfort and usually better performance. Because of the increased specialization, we would recommend shopping in this bracket only if you know what you are looking for and have tried a variety of sneakers.

On the other end, shoes ranging from $ to $ are usually not built to last, nor do they typically have warranties. We can recommend these at most for casual outdoor play, but beyond that we would stick to the mid to high range. It should be noted that we found these to have the least support and traction, which may increase the likelihood of injury.

What We Reviewed

  • Under Armour Curry 4 Low
  • Adidas D Rose 7
  • Under Armour Lockdown
  • Nike Air Command Force Basketball Shoes
  • Jordan XXX 
  • Adidas Crazy Explosive PrimeKnit 2017
  • Nike Kyrie 3
  • Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy 1
  • Jordan Fly Lockdown
  • Nike Zoom LeBron Soldier IX

Under Armour Curry 4 Low

Under Armour UA Curry 3 Low Mens Basketball Trainers 1286376 Sneakers...
  • Under Armour UA Curry 3 Low Mens Basketball Trainers 1286376 Sneakers Shoes

Features

This basketball sneaker looks a lot like a normal sneaker. It is a sibling to the Under Armour’s high top version of the Curry 4. Overall, reviews suggest that there were minimal changes made between the two, so fans of the previous model may enjoy its younger sibling. This sneaker has good traction, a thick rubber tread, low slippage, and it is made with high-quality fabric (resulting in less rubbing around the ankles). Due to its lightweight and responsive build, we recommend this shoe for quick guards.

This shoe tends to run small and is more narrow, so be aware that it may not be comfortable for long periods of time or with a lot of pivoting.

Warranty  

Under Armour’s warranty policy was not as comforting or flexible as we had hoped. While they do offer a “we’ll make it right as long as it’s reasonable” clause, their fine print states that the shoes have to be in their original condition. This was a drawback for us as being able to feel how the shoes work for a couple days is important. Under Armour does offer the typical free replacement for damages done prior to delivery, but they do not currently allow exchanges, which makes trying out different models less convenient.

In terms of Under Armour’s policy dealing with outside providers, they recommend returning the product to the store you purchased it from.

Pros

  • Improved quality of fabric
  • Good traction
  • Stability
  • Knit makes the shoe more comfortable and adaptable to the wearer
  • Well fit
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Little to no cushion
  • Some reported heel slippage
  • Little ankle support

Adidas D Rose 7

adidas Men's D Rose 7 Primeknit Basketball Shoe, White/Black/Scarlet,...
  • boost is our most responsive cushioning ever: The more energy you give, the more you get
  • Breathable and flexible adidas Prime knit upper for an enhanced fit
  • Molded collar for dynamic fit and enhanced support; Collar accommodates an ankle brace

Features

This shoe features a rubber sole, a high shaft, bounce, good ankle support, good traction, and no slippage. It also can be worn with a brace, and there is a knitted, breathable fabric option available for purchase.

Warranty  

Adidas has a two-year warranty for their shoes, which is great, however it is only for items with defects. Items that did not work out well cannot be returned. Still, their policy is great for those who have a basketball sneaker they enjoy with Adidas.

Pros

  • Can be worn with a brace
  • Good ankle support
  • Bounce
  • Good traction
  • Breathable options available as knitted fabrics

Cons

  • Nike has an almost identical shoe that is more comfortable
  • Tends to run more narrow and small
  • Bulky

Under Armour Lockdown

Features

This shoe features lightweight synthetic materials, and it has good linear and lateral traction. Additionally, it has a molded full-length EVA sock liner. This shoe is a high top, which is perfect for supporting your ankles, and it has a compression EVA-molded foam midsole.

Warranty  

While Under Armour does offer a “we’ll make it right as long as it’s reasonable” clause, their fine print states that the shoes have to be in their original condition. Under Armour does offer free replacement for damages done prior to delivery, but they do not currently allow exchanges, which makes trying out different models less convenient. In terms of Under Armour’s policy dealing with outside providers, they recommend returning the shoes to the store you purchased them from.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good traction
  • Good support
  • Comfortable for short games
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not comfortable for long periods of time
  • Some reported slippage
  • Runs small
  • Bulky

Nike Air Command Force Basketball Shoes

Features

These shoes have cushioning that is ideal for flat feet, and they have enhanced ankle support. They provide impact protection, as well, and they are higher-than-high-tops.

Warranty  

Nike has a decent warranty if you buy online. They offer up to two years of wear and tear with material or workmanship flaw coverage with Nike.com purchases, which is a great warranty. Once we got beyond Nike and into authorized retailers though, there was not a lot Nike offered.

Pros

  • Superior ankle support
  • Impact protection and cushioning
  • Nike Air Unit

Cons

  • Inside stitching can be irritating
  • May be too high for some
  • Run small
  • Bulky

Jordan XXX

Features

The Jordan XXX feature added cushion, flynit, heel cushion, and improved comfort in the mid-sole. These sneakers are high-tops.

Warranty  

Nike has a decent warranty if you buy online. They offer up to two years of wear and tear with material or workmanship flaw coverage with Nike.com purchases, which is a great warranty. Once we got beyond Nike and into authorized retailers though, there was not a lot Nike offered.

Pros

  • Great traction on a clean court
  • Good support
  • Built to wrap around the foot

Cons

  • Some slippage if players strike heel down
  • Heel support can cause blistering
  • Long break-in period (3 or more weeks)
  • Heel notching can be a discomfort
  • Low traction on a court with dust
  • High-top fabric piece can cause blistering

Adidas Crazy Explosive Primeknit 2017

Features

These shoes provide impact protection, full-length boost cushioning, and good traction.

Warranty  

Adidas has a two-year warranty for their shoes, which is great, however it is only for items with defects, not for items that did not work out well. Still, their policy is great for those who have a basketball sneaker they enjoy with Adidas.

Pros

  • Good support and cushion
  • Good fit
  • Material works well
  • No heel slippage

Cons

  • Upper support is not great
  • Traction can be lost on dusty courts
  • Long break-in period (3 or more weeks)
  • Shouldn’t be used outside
  • Slightly narrow

Nike Kyrie 3

Features

These sneakers provide good traction, mesh and foam materials, and support throughout the shoe. They are built to fit your feet perfectly with a heavy emphasis on the court feel.

Warranty  

Nike has a decent warranty if you buy online. They offer up to two years of wear and tear with material or workmanship flaw coverage with Nike.com purchases, which is a great warranty. Once we got beyond Nike and into authorized retailers though, there was not a lot Nike offered.

Pros

  • Excellent traction on clean courts
  • Well built with breathable materials
  • Lightweight
  • True to size
  • Zoom unit
  • Adaptable fit

Cons

  • Not well cushioned
  • Little traction on dusty courts
  • Toe tip built too hard
  • Slightly narrow

Adidas Performance Men’s Crazy 1

adidas Men's Crazy 1 Basketball Shoe, Maroon/Black/Matte Gold, 8.5 M...
  • Synthetic upper for durability and light weight
  • Padded collar for added comfort
  • Textile lining for comfort

Features

These sneakers feature EVA cushioning, synthetic materials, and a torsion system.

Warranty  

Adidas has a two-year warranty for their shoes, which is great, however it is only for items with defects, not for items that did not work out well. Still, their policy is great for those who have a basketball sneaker they enjoy with Adidas.

Pros

  • Good support
  • Often comfortable from the get-go
  • Short break-in period
  • Well cushioned
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Toe box is uncomfortable for sudden stops
  • No ventilation
  • Tend to run wide

Jordan Fly Lockdown

Features

The Jordan Fly Lockdowns provide good traction on a variety of surfaces. They feature phylon mid-sole and Forefoot Zoom.

Warranty  

Nike has a decent warranty if you buy online. They offer up to two years of wear and tear with material or workmanship flaw coverage with Nike.com purchases, which is a great warranty. Once we got beyond Nike and into authorized retailers though, there was not a lot Nike offered.

Pros

  • Traction works well on clean and dusty courts
  • Affordable price
  • Cushion
  • Good impact
  • Short break-in time
  • Good support
  • Flexible

Cons

  • Budget materials
  • Runs wide
  • Soft rubber tread

Nike Zoom LeBron Soldier IX

Nike Zoom LeBron Soldier IX

Nike Men's Lebron Soldier IX PRM Dark Grey/Dark Grey/Blk/Ht Lv...
  • Flywire cables integrate with a midfoot strap for lightweight lateral support
  • Ecoupled rubber pods for durability and range of motion
  • Hexagonal pattern for multidirectional traction

Features

These sneakers feature a 3-layer strap system instead of laces. They also have an ankle strap for added support, Zoom units in the heel and forefoot, and they are made with synthetic materials.

Warranty  

Nike has a decent warranty if you buy online. They offer up to two years of wear and tear with material or workmanship flaw coverage with Nike.com purchases, which is a great warranty. Once we got beyond Nike and into authorized retailers though, there was not a lot Nike offered.

Pros

  • The strap system ensures a perfect and snug fit that is also adaptable
  • The ankle strap provides enhanced support
  • Tread does not break down easily
  • Good impact
  • Good cushion
  • Great support

Cons

  • Budget materials

The Verdict

Feet and shoes

Understanding which model is best took many hours of research for us. Overall, we would give our winning vote to one of the final two we reviewed: the Jordan Fly Lockdown or the Nike Zoom LeBron Soldier IX.

After much debate, we settled on the Nike Zoom LeBron Soldier IX as the winner. Though the prices run higher, the added fit and support the layered strap system gives is something we could not overlook. Support (and thereby fit) are crucial comfort and performance points for basketball sneakers. Combine that with long-lasting tread and good cushion, and we can overlook the higher price and the inconvenience of getting them on.

 

Last update on 2021-07-28 at 14:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API